Tag Archives: beaches

Praia do Rosa: It’s bloomin’ good!

Santa Catarina, in the luscious south of Brazil, has so many beaches that you’d go mad if you tried to drink a beer on even a quarter of them in your lifetime. So when it came to organising a romantic weekend away, I allowed my Brazilian lady friend to choose the destination. She has fantastic taste in men, and also proved to have fantastic taste in beaches, and thus we ended up in Praia do Rosa.

The beach is just 80km from Florianopolis and its million inhabitants, but it really feels like it’s a world away from the city (and not just because the journey takes hours by bus). Praia do Rosa is incredibly rural, with chickens and cows roaming the dirt tracks. It’s a place where time moves slowly, and that’s a good thing because the views are pretty bloody good.

Like many places along Santa Catarina’s coast, Praia do Rosa is like a little slice of Bali. There are Buddhas all over the place, bamboo shacks, and beer that’s every bit as cheap and refreshing as Bintang. Hell, I even found a bar called Lombok (nobody was getting their arms hacked off with machetes, though, as far as I could tell). If I had little blokes racing up to me every five seconds trying to sell me pirated X-Men DVDs and dodgy Rip Curl shirts I would’ve forgotten where I was.

If you’re staying in Praia do Rosa, make sure you get a place overlooking the ocean, otherwise you’re wasting your time (right, that’s my travel blog advice for 2018, see you next year). The sunrises are spectacular, and if you’re back from the beach you’ll feel like you’re camping in a farm. There are also a few other beaches within walking distance, such as Vermelha and Luz, and I can say from experience that the trek is much more pleasant if you bring along a woman with a nice bottom and ask her to walk in front at all times (two bits of travel blog advice in one year. I might need to have a lie down).

So that’s it. I had a top time in Praia do Rosa, saw some awesome places, spent most of the time drunk, ate grouse food that cost less than a packet of chips back in Australia, lay around in hammocks with a pretty lady to keep me company, and basically continued my quest to never act like a responsible adult. Sometimes life can suck balls, but if that’s the case, just head to Praia do Rosa and have a caipirinha on the sand, it’ll sort your shit out quick smart.

Advertisements

Punta del Este is the best(e)

Celebrities such as Paris Hilton, Marky Mark and Paul ‘Fatty’ Vautin flock to Punta del Este each summer like flies to shit. The beaches are packed with bronzed bodies and the nightclubs are pulsing with techno music. Uruguay’s second city is one of the world’s great party spots, so I was surprised when I rocked up with a box of glowsticks, a pocket full of disco biscuits, and my Best of Eiffel 65 CD, only to find the place almost deserted.

A vagrant informed me that Punta del Este is incredibly busy for a few weeks in summer, but basically empty for the rest of the year, which seemed to make sense. Then again, the dude was hunting through banana peels and used condoms for a feed, so there’s as much chance that Punta del Este had actually been taken over by a plague of zombies. Whatever the truth is, there’s not much action for most of the year, but it’s still a really nice place.

Punta del Este is referred to as The Monaco of the South, The Pearl of the Atlantic, The St. Tropez of South America and The Woy Woy of Uruguay, and it’s easy to see why. The views are spectacular and the golden beaches are decorated with expensive restaurants and trendy cafes. Huge towers loom over the water, and everything feels pretty safe and clean compared to other parts of South America. I reckon Ms Hilton could even pass out under a palm tree after a night on the goon without worrying about getting her phone pinched.

As well as natural beauty, Punta del Este boasts some awesome touristy things to see. I found some evil battle robots down a side street, a scale replica of the Statue of Liberty outside a pizza shop, and the world’s hugest hand emerging from the sand. You’d be cranky if you found out your girlfriend’s ex had fingers like that. My verdict is that Punta del Este is tops any time of the year, but if you want a chance of rooting one of the Olson Twins, go there in summer. When the weather’s cold and windy, you might have to settle for a homeless fella with two teeth in his head.

Thelma and Louise Go Flying

If there’s a more inspirational film than the 1991 classic Thelma & Louise, I’m yet to see it. The tale of two lesbians who smoke some poor bloke and then travel all over the place in a fancy car before driving it off a cliff provides lessons that we should all live by. Also, Geena Davis was pretty hot back then. So when Al, who looks a little like Geena in the right light, asked me to fly into uncharted territory with him, I didn’t hesitate to say yes.

We were cruising around above Pandawa Beach, when the wind shifted south and we realised we could start edging further and further around the bottom of the Balinese coast. Kilometres of rugged and remote beaches lay begging to be explored, and before long we found ourselves cruising through uncharted territory. The height we found was extraordinary, and it was exciting to escape from the restraints of the popular flying sites.

It’s a beautiful part of the world, with shear cliffs topped by million-dollar houses and exclusive resorts. Bikini-clad babes looked up from their expensive cocktails to watch us float by, most likely hoping that we would land nearby and pop in for a shag. But Al and I had eyes only for each other the end of the island, so we kept pushing forward. There were a few dodgy moments, but we stuck together and made it work.

“How far are we going to go?” I asked, my voice trembling.

“To the end of the world, baby,” came the unwavering reply. “To the end of the world… together.” The landscape became even wilder and more amazing as we swept past stunning beaches and misty mountains. Finally, we reached the headland that marked the start of Uluwatu, on the western coast of the island. We’d made it as far as two brave pilots could ever hope, and swung around to start the long, slow slog back to launch. The sun was fading and the headwind was powerful, but we knew we could make it.

Unfortunately, just like in Thelma & Louise, this story was not to have a happy ending. Coming back around a monstrous headland, we ran into wild rotor that threw us around and sent us scuttling towards the beach hundreds of metres below.

“Looks like we’re going down on each other,” Al called over the radion.

“Don’t you mean we’re going down together?” I asked, sure that he’d simply made a linguistic fuck up.

“Erm, yes, I guess that’s it,” he replied slimily.

I fluttered to the ground next to an ancient shipwreck, and looked around at a beach seemingly untouched by the hand of man.

I was packing up my gear and wondering how the hell I’d get out of there, when a funny little man wearing oven mitts climbed out of a nearby bush and started talking to me in broken Engrish. I thought he was a local hobo and was about to brush him, when I noticed he was plucking his wing out of a nearby bush. He introduced himself as Lee, from Japan, and an instant bond was formed between us. I saw him as a mentor; he saw me as the son he’d never had.

Even though our landing spot was as remote as the chances of Penny Wong taking out the next Miss Universe competition, it’s never hard to get a beer in Bali, so Al and I relaxed with a few Bintangs while Lee kicked back with a cocktail served in a coconut, complete with tiny umbrella and extravagant crazy straw to suck it through. It was a surreal vision in such an out-of-the-way spot.

It was fortunate that we rehydrated, because the climb back up the cliff was steep enough to have a Nepalese sherpa calling it quits. When we finally made it to the top we were treated to a (well-deserved) hero’s welcome by the local villagers, who showered us with love and affection and free nasi goreng. It was the best day of my life… until I caught Al and Lee walking out from behind a tree with guilty looks on their faces. I was crushed.

What a fuckin’ day! It was an epic journey and one of the most memorable flights I’ve had. Al and I pushed our limits and tested our skills, and we were rewarded with stunning views and an effort that we can be truly proud of. Every day of flying in Bali is brilliant, but that afternoon spent high above the beaches of southern Bali has to top it all. And after having some time to reflect on what happened, I wish Al and Lee all the best in the future. Keep flying high, you crazy kids.

Putting the Delicious into Mauritius

Women call me lots of things, from the West Gosford Wildcat to “Hey you in the bushes!” to names that aren’t fit to print in a family friendly blog such as Drunk and Jobless. But the most common name is The Mauritius Delicious, due to the fact that I have Mauritian heritage and am very tasty indeed. So when I decided to head over to Africa, it was a no-brainer that I would end up in the island nation of Mauritius, to trace my family roots. First stop, Grand Baie, in the north of the country.

I’ll get the obvious out of the way – the scenery is stunning, with countless perfect, palm tree-lined beaches, calm bays and pretty villages. It would be impossible to visit Mauritius and not be knocked over by how wonderfult it looks. This part of the island is too developed for my tastes, with lots of resorts full of fat cunts who probably won’t do anything more adventurous than visit the all-you-can eat buffet, but it still has a good atmosphere. I’ve certainly been to worse places.

Mauritius certainly doesn’t feel like Africa, and that’s because it isn’t really. The scenery is more reminiscent of Asia or the Pacific, and the culture is a mix between Indian and French – I’m surprised I haven’t seen a little bloke wearing cricket batting pads and a beret. In some places it looks completely first world, and in others it looks like a back alley in Bali, with open sewers and stray dogs. The public transport is all over the place and very slow, but the whole country seems to function reasonably well, especially compared to some of the desperately poor places I’ve been to lately.

The beaches are overflowing with tourists and locals, who seem to prefer bludging on the sand or getting pissed under trees to actually working. Come to think of it, I’ve never felt more at home! Most of the locals are of Indian heritage, but there are also a lot of black people with pineapple-like haircuts, and even a few people who look a bit like me and my family. No wonder the locals are so surprised when they give me a cheery, “Bonjour!” and I reply with an equally cheery, “G’day mate!” In fact, I fit in so well with the locals that I was mistaken for one.

After a nearly two day trip just to get here, the first thing I wanted to do in my ancestral homeland was get shitface, so I headed along to a beach bar called the Funky Banana or something like that. The important thing is that it was heaving with hot honeys. I took a look around, noted where the best talent was, and then swaggered up to the bar and ordered the cheapest beer they had.
“Of course, Pierre,” the little bloke behind the bar said. “Would you like me to put it on your usual tab?”
“Yes, I would,” I replied with a smile. “And since it’s such a good day to be Pierre, perhaps you could put that cheap swill back where you found it and get me a nice tall glass of the most expensive beer you have. Actually, make it two. Ta.”

I was skolling my stolen hard-earned beers when a big, tough-looking dude with plenty of tattoos and a packet of cigarettes rolled up in one sleeve came over. He looked me up and down and then leaned in close.
“Yo Pierre,” he snarled, and his breath smelled like he’d been snacking on dog turds all night, “you fucked my sister, so now we gunna fight.”
“Well, before you punch me I’d better let you know that I also fucked your mother, your grandmother, and your dad. That’s right, he’s gay,” I smirked, while the tough guy fumed. “But if you wanna fight me, Pierre, tonight, I’ll meet you in the toilets in half an hour. Now fuck off and buy a toothbrush.”

After grabbing another couple of beers and putting them on poor ol’ Pierre’s tab, I was sitting under a palm tree when a stunning, dark-skinned 18-year-old walked over, gave me a kiss on the cheek and sat down opposite me. Her tits were just about falling out of her top, and I had to smash one of my beers to stop myself from ejaculating in my shorts.
“You were wonderful last night, Pierre,” she said. “Are you up for round two tonight?”
“I most certainly am, love. In fact, it’s probably best that we get out of here right now. I’ll just pop to the bar to get a couple of roadies and we’ll head off. Is Moet alright with you?”

I gave the lass a good squeeze on the arse, and then we made our way out of the Funky Banana. In the harsh neon light of the club’s surrounds, I watched as a Porsche pulled up and a shockingly handsome fella climbed out. Our eyes met, and he came straight over to me, obviously speechless.
“Pierre, I assume,” I said, holding my hand out to my doppelganger.
“Oui oui,” he replied. “But how… what… you look just like me. It is like looking in a mirror.”
“We must be family, mate. I knew there’d be some stray members around here. Now as you can see, I’ve got my hands full, so I’ll have to get the fuck out of here. Thanks for the drinks and, ah, you might wanna stay out of the toilet for a while.”